Thursday, December 27, 2012

Why We Love Adventure... Stories

Finally was able to see The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey. Finally.

To say I loved it would be an understatement. I've loved these books since I first read them back in high school. (Please don't ask me when that was.) Honestly, I think I've forgotten.

I love the call to adventure Bilbo Baggins is offered, and his reluctant, yet willing, acceptance to take to the wild road and the possibility of what might lay ahead. Something about the Dwarf's song, the tantalizing thrill of something beyond his mundane life of comfort and security, drew him into the unknown. Later, this same hobbit would tell his young nephew,

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien - Lord of the Rings

No knowing where you might be swept off too...

Why Do We Flock to Read These Books and See These Movies?

Perhaps we enjoy the experience these movies and books offer us... The not knowing where we'll be swept off to. So, maybe, the reason is escape?

Perhaps there's an inner desire to live a life outside the mundane. Secretly, we wish the adventures were happening to us. So, maybe, reason is to feed our inner thrill-seeker?

Or perhaps, it's the fact that anything goes in story, and in truth, our real lives are pretty boring, standard, set in a pattern whether we like it our not. Stuck. So, maybe, the reason is to feed our dreams of there being something more out there.

In The Two Towers, Samwise Gamgee summed up something I find fascinating about stories:

“The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually — their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on — and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same — like old Mr Bilbo. But those aren't always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we've fallen into?”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

What Kind of Tale Can You Fall Into?
In all honesty, we all have our own tale that we live out each and every day. I know you might look around at your life and think, boring. Maybe horror story? Could be, you'd call your life more of a mis-adventure.

Don't discount your importance in this world. Despite how big or how little, you have a story to live out. What you make of it... well, that's up to you.

This one part in the Hobbit movie touched me deeply. Jackson always manages to get in some thought-provoking line, not found in the book, but powerful all the same.

While Gandalf the wizard was speaking to the elfin council, the beautiful Galadriel asks:
Galadriel: Why the Hafling?
Gandalf: Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? That's because I am afraid and it gives me courage.

It's the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep darkness at bay.

Oh, Yes You Can
Adventures do not have to include dragons, treasure hunting, or epic journeys. It's the simple acts, as Gandalf says, that make for great stories. The helping someone in need. The working hard at what you do best. The finding your dream and chasing after it. With everything you have. Despite the risk. Knowing you might never come back the same as when you left, if you come back at all.

Actor Martin Freeman, left, confers with director Peter Jackson on the set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (Warner Bros. Pictures)

You. Do. Not. Have. To. Settle. For. Mediocrity.
Everyone has a place and purpose in this life. Find it. Follow your passion. Do what makes you most happy. Don't be afraid. Don't settle for good enough. Don't.

There is an adventure waiting for you. Right now. Here, in real life. And it's called just that...


Is there something you wish you could do more than anything else in this world? Go for it. Even if it's small steps. If each of us lived our life to it's fullest, what kind of world would this be? If we actually lived with a yes on our lips and bravery pinned across our chest... what might happen?
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." - Henry David Thoreau
Go on, just do it.

Book News: 

Holiday Sale between now and New Years!

That's right, Illuminated is now only .99 cents for the holidays.
If you are looking for a book for that new (or old) Nook or Kindle, now is a great time to check out this fun adventure.

Alyra is fleeing Racah for freedom, seeking the truth behind who she really is and the mystery behind the medallion she's kept secret during her years of slavery. On the road, she faces many challenges, but finds great friends, and the possibility of true love along the way.

As much fun as I've had writing this book, I'm eager to start on the next installment after New Years. Right now, I'm giving myself a short break to just enjoy the holidays.

But starting next week, I'll be heading back to Alburnium to work on Luminous.

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